A Lockhart man is suing Caldwell County, its sheriff’s office and three individual deputies, accusing the officers of using excessive force and arresting him on fabricated assault charges during a disturbance call in January.
According to the lawsuit filed in federal court, Sgt. Dustin M. Yost and two others referred to only as “M. Taylor” and “Houseston” responded on Jan. 15 to a call from the home of Lawrence Faulkenberry in the 700 block of Oak Trail Drive.
The lawsuit says the call was a false report made by the Faulkenberry’s son, a minor who has been diagnosed with mental illness. After an argument with the boy over his homework and chores, Faulkenberry’s son called the sheriff’s office claiming that Faulkenberry was drunk and holding a gun, but Faulkenberry doesn’t own a weapon and wasn’t drunk that day, the suit says.
Security camera footage that Faulkenberry’s attorney says was taken from outside Faulkenberry’s home shows Faulkenberry with his hands up when three deputies arrived at the home with their weapons drawn.
The video contains no audio, but according to the lawsuit, the deputies answered with an expletive when Faulkenberry asked if they had a warrant. The video later shows a deputy “attempting a judo leg sweep” on Faulkenberry and two others tackling him, the suit says. A deputy pressed Faulkenberry down with his knee while another one punched him in his left eye, the suit says. Deputies cuffed Faulkenberry’s right hand “so hard he still bears the scars,” the suit says.
“The video plainly shows that at no point during the entire incident did (the) plaintiff offer any resistance or assault any of the deputies,” the lawsuit says. “The deputies in turn had no legal basis or justification whatsoever for assaulting (the) plaintiff who was defenseless.”
Representatives from Caldwell County sheriff’s office did not return calls seeking comments.
Faulkenberry was arrested and accused of assaulting Yost; he was released on a $5,000 bond, the suit says.
Faulkenberry is suing for unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.